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MIT student blogger Chris S. '11

A Mystery Hunt Puzzle by Chris S. '11

A Taste of Things to Come...

It is 2:45 AM. You have just finished your 5.111 pset. The handwritten solutions took you 10 pages, and you’re very fed up with drawing molecular orbital diagrams. You still have a 14.01 pset to do, before the sun rises – and you haven’t even read the textbook yet. Suddenly, these images pop up on your email inbox…

Extra Credit:

Confuzzled, you decide to return to your 14.01, for it is due in 11 hours. Luckily, the solutions to this puzzle will be posted before Sunday. :)

ps. psst, this isn’t really a puzzle! haha

33 responses to “A Mystery Hunt Puzzle”

  1. YXZ '12 says:

    Perhaps the message is, “On the morning of CPW, you will recieve lots of papers, watch Matt cut a cake, meet people from around the US, eat creme brulee, meet bloggers and Susan Hockfield, and run for the president of Taiwan.”

  2. |Lex! '12 says:

    Don’t think that’s QUITE it, but still. I think maybe the license plate collection has something to do with being half of a “1 from every state” collection. And does anyone else think that YXZ’s theory makes you anticipate CPW even more (if possible)?

  3. Read the fine print, guys. I know, it’s more fun to look at the pretty pictures. I did it, too.

  4. @Paul Hoops ’13:
    #3- apples to apples cards

  5. C. elegans = quite random in and of themselves (but quite important otherwise)

  6. kavya says:

    Maybe it’s supposed to represent what one day of your life as a student of MIT is like raspberry
    I’m honestly hoping I’m wrong :

    1. you start ur day freaking out about some test you still have a 100 papers to study for
    2. you then catch a glimpse of the sunrise while rushing to class
    3.erm – u celebrate passing the test you were freaking out about try and crack the Great License Plate Challenge you’ve set yourself snack on wtever that’s called attend a socializing event watch the news go back to studying- biology this time!

    Okay- so I was bored raspberry.
    I’m betting they’re just random pics!

  7. Celena '12 says:

    @XYZ ’12

    I really like your idea…way to piece them together! Now let me try and tweak it…I hope you don’t mind =)
    Maybe instead of eating creme brulee, we’ll be eating lots of delicious food.
    Maybe the one about the president of Taiwan is that one will meet a lot of important people?

    Hahaha. It was worth a try.

  8. Oasis says:

    “I’m betting they’re just random pics!”

    Nooo, they’re pictures of great profundity. wink

    (how can you say that a picture of Matt isn’t profound?! tsktsk…) =p

  9. Davorama says:

    I just played apples to apples yesterday! I was winning until my mom got a final sweep and got like 4 or 5 cards in a row.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is the last one a vinegar eel? Or some other type of nematode…?

  11. Celena '12 says:

    I don’t have all of them…let me take a guess? :D

    1) Students preparing for CPW?
    2) The Charles sunrise?
    3) Matt McGann and an angel food cake?
    4) Someone’s license plate collection?
    5) Creme Brulee?
    6) Chris & friends with Susan Hockfield?
    7) Taiwanese presidential nominees: Frank Hsieh Ma Ying-jeou
    8) …some sort of cell?

  12. karen says:

    oh, 5.111 pset. i’m leaving for mexico in 12 hours. how can i bring myself to care?

  13. Paul says:

    Methinks Chris will be blogging about the events these pictures portray sometime this weekend…hence the title, “A Taste of Things To Come.” wink

    Although I honestly have no idea how the last photo plays into this AT ALL.

  14. Anonymous says:

    dude, is that David Farhi in the top pic?

  15. Paul says:

    #3, in addition to Matt, appears to have Apples-to-Apples in it – great game, that. I’m guessing the photo’s from something you and your advising group did. wink

    #7 is you and some SigEp’s hobnobbing with President Hockfield. Nice. smile

  16. Oasis says:

    @ Paul –

    Why, may I ask, you are up at 5:11 in the morning? wink

  17. Paul says:

    Packing for spring break. You? wink

  18. Anonymous says:

    #2 – Someone sniping unsuspecting tourists’ pics with a sweet magnifying array.

  19. Anonymous says:

    that means #4 belongs to a traveling serial killer…

  20. Omar '12 says:

    Haha, do you get a lot of random emails when at MIT? I guess you would need something to break the monotony of studying grin

  21. Does anybody recognize the cards sitting next to the guy with the cake? I’m a pre-prefrosh, so I’ve got no clue.

  22. p53 says:

    Answer to Extra Credit: H. Robert Horvitz (of MIT)/Brenner/Sulston tediously counted the cells of Caenorhabditis elegans (round worms). They determined that the round worm started with 1090 cells and always lost in apoptosis (or rather “blebbed” away) 131 cells, left with 959 cells in its adult stage. The significance of this research was identifying the two genes that contributed to cell death.

  23. Isshak says:

    Too much math…can’t think yet…looks so weird…
    Who has the TIME to make such a puzzle?

  24. Judy H. says:

    what’s with that worm looking thingy ???

  25. YXZ '12 says:

    In addition to apples-to-apples cards and angel food cake, the picture with Matt appears to have “Dogs Playing Poker” on the wall in the background. I’m not sure what this says about his taste in interior decoration.

  26. Oasis says:

    “that means #4 belongs to a traveling serial killer…”

    That is so scary, now that you mention it…=/

  27. Leanna says:


    not really a way i’d want to sped my weekend, counting the cells of a round worm…

  28. Yeah, I saw it. Read the 14th post.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Post if you saw the p.s.